Supreme Court: After noticing that workmen do not mention their permanent address in cases where labour disputes are filed through Unions, the bench of Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal*, JJ has directed the authorities working under the various labour laws to take some corrective steps in order to ensure that the address of the workman is provided as effective relief can be granted to a worker only if the permanent address of the workman is furnished in the pleadings.
The Court noticed that when the address furnished is care of Union, all efforts made to serve workman at the given address may go futile if the Union is no longer interested to pursue the case on behalf of the workman.
Referring to various laws such as the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Workman Compensation Act, 1923; the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; etc, the Court stressed that if any party approaches any authority for a relief, the first thing required to be mentioned is his complete address. Mentioning of address of the representative is secondary as someone may like to appear in person.
The Court also took note of the fact that to simplify labour laws and strengthening the protection available to workers, including unorganised workers in terms of statutory minimum wages, social security and healthcare of the workers, the Parliament has consolidated 29 labour laws under 4 category of Codes, namely, Wage Code, Social Security Code, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code and The Industrial Relations Code.
While the Codes are yet to be enforced, the Court said that it was hopeful that with the enforcement of 4 Labour Codes, in future, when rules are framed, authorities will take care that parties to the dispute furnish their permanent addresses in the cases relating to labour law disputes.
Hence, it was directed that,
In future all the cases to be filed and in all the pending cases, the parties shall be required to furnish their permanent address(es).
Even if the representative of the workman is appearing, he shall furnish permanent address of the workman as well.
Even in proceedings subsequent to first stage, it shall be mandatory to provide permanent address of the party for his service.
Merely mentioning through Labour Union or authorised representatives, who are sometimes union leaders or legal practitioners, will not be sufficient.
Service of notice of workman will have to be effected on the permanent address of the workman.
[Creative Garments Ltd v. Kashiram Verma, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 277, decided on 16.03.2023]
*Judgment authored by Justice Rajesh Bindal.
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Appellant: Advocate Sonal Gupta, Advocate Abhishek, for M/S. Parekh & Co.